Our eldest son wants to put a hammock in his bedroom. He’s 13 at the time of writing but already 6′ 3 (yes he loves basketball), so is this a good idea? (the hammock not the basketball!)…
You can put a hammock in a bedroom, provided you hang it from either wall studs or ceiling joists so it can take the weight. Most ceiling joists and wall studs are 16 inches apart, but you can check this with a stud finder before you hang your hammock with eye bolts.
Let’s dive down into the subject of putting hammocks inside in more detail, and find out how to do it safely without pulling the ceiling or walls down…
How Do You Hang a Hammock in a Bedroom?
Hammocks are irresistible. If you are thinking of hanging one inside, make it strong because chances are good that you’ll soon have your kids, their friends, you and your spouse, plus your neighbors all swinging in it. So – hang it from a stud.
Most new homes in the United States are frame-style houses. That means that the walls of the house are first framed with wooden planks, called studs. The studs are the skeleton of the house.
Studs measure approximately 2 inches deep by 4 inches wide by 8 feet long. The studs are nailed into place with the 2-inch side against the wall. Then, sheets of drywall (aka sheetrock or plasterboard) are nailed onto the studs to form the walls of the house.
Most builders space out the studs 16 inches apart but the spacing can vary so it’s best to use a stud finding tool.
Here’s a link to show you what’s inside your walls.
Sure, you can’t actually see the studs and they are pretty skinny. The good news is, everyone has had the same problem for decades, so there are lots of good, cheap (less than $50) tools to help.
To hang a hammock from a stud, you’ll need to have two large eye bolts, a tape measure, a stud finder, a big screwdriver, a hand drill and a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than your eye bolt.
First, measure. Lay out your hammock in the room where you want to hang it. Check out websites or load an app to help you with the measurements (there’s a link to an app in the video below).
Find the stud. Most stud finders will light up when you move the finder over a stud. For practice, you can check out the stud finder’s response over a known stud, like around a window or door. Mark the edges of the stud in pencil. It should be around 2 inches wide. Mark the center of the stud.
Mark where the eye bolts should go. Measure out the height that you calculated was ideal for your hammock and mark it on the stud you found. Choose a drill bit with a slightly smaller diameter than your eye bolt. Drill a pilot hole in as deep as the eye bolt will go (the length of the shank).
Start screwing in the eye bolt with your hand but eventually you’ll need to use the large screwdriver to help you get the torque you need to screw it into the stud. Just insert the screwdriver shaft into the hole of the eye bolt and turn the screwdriver.
Install the second eye bolt on the opposite wall and you are done.
Here’s a great video showing all the steps. Check out the link in the video for a hammock hanging calculator app.
How Do You Hang a Hammock From a Bedroom Ceiling?
Inside the ceilings of a house are large boards called joists. A ceiling joist is usually larger than a stud, measuring around 2 inches deep, 6 inches wide, and 10 feet long.
Again, a stud finder can help you see inside your ceiling. Most ceiling joists are 16 inches apart, but the distance varies.
Find the joist nearest to where you want your hammock or swinging chair with the stud finder. Then, follow the steps above or in the video. You’ll need some hanging straps to get the hammock low enough to hop in.
How Do You Hang a Hammock Indoors Without Damaging Walls?
If you follow the steps recommended in the section on hanging a hammock in a bedroom, the holes you make should not leave damage to your walls.
When it’s time to uninstall your eye bolts, carefully unscrew the eye bolt from the stud. You can use a large screwdriver for the torque you’ll need. Blow out any drywall dust, then fill in the hole with Spackle and let it dry. Sand down the Spackle if it needs it.
If the sanded area is noticeable, find some spray wall texture at your local hardware store. Use a piece of trash cardboard to practice, then spray some wall texture over the sanded area to make it blend in. Finally, paint the area.
If you’ve accidentally ripped out a chunk of drywall, the fix is harder. Measure your hole, then go to your local hardware store for a drywall patch. If your hole is larger than the patches available, you may need a drywall expert to help.
Can Wall Studs Hold a Hammock?
The weight an eye bolt can hold depends on the angle of the load. For example, if your eye bolt has a quarter-inch shank (the straight part) and you pull on it – straight out – it could handle a load of 600 pounds.
If you hang something off the eye bolt at a 30-degree angle, the weight load goes down to around 400 pounds – per eye bolt.
Can You Hang a Hammock Chair in an Apartment?
Sure, if you own the apartment. If not, check out the rules with your landlord. Most holes in walls or ceilings can be repaired (see the previous discussion) but check first.
Check online or at your local hardware store for hanging hardware, then install it in a stud.
How Much Space Do You Need for a Hammock?
It depends on the variables discussed above, but generally speaking, you’ll need around 9 feet.
Here’s an article on hanging a hammock indoors with a link to a Hammock Hang Calculator.
How Do You Put a Hammock on a Stand?
Many hammocks come with an optional stand. The two have the same manufacturer and were designed to go together. In this case, hanging your hammock is easy. The stand will come with hardware that the hammock attached to and the hammock length will be perfect for the stand.
If your hammock and stand weren’t purchased together, then you may need a strap for your hammock. Hammock hanging straps bridge the gap between the end of the hammock and the hanging hardware on the stand.
Hammock straps can be made of webbing or can be short lengths of chain. If you are DIY’ing a hammock strap, go to your local hardware store and have them cut you a couple of two-foot-long chains. Be sure to check out the load strength of the chain.
Also, get four strong carabiners to attach the strap to your hammock and then to the stand hardware.
Can You Hang a Bedroom Hammock Without Drilling?
Yup. Use two doors instead.
Doors are strong. You can use two doors instead of drilling holes in your walls. They have to have door knobs that close securely. And, the doors will have to be situated roughly opposite each other.
Now, find or buy some strong straps that are thin enough to tie a knot into. You’ll need several feet of strapping or webbing. The webbing needs to be thin enough for the door to close but strong enough to support the hammock (with you in it).
Cut the webbing into two pieces. At the end of the first piece, loop the webbing and tie a knot. You need a nice fat knot. Then, open the door and put the knot on the other side of the door at the top of the door. Close the door.
The webbing should be stuck immovably in the door. Test it by pulling against the webbing from the inside. Then, repeat the same procedure with the other piece of webbing in the opposite door.
Then, hang your hammock.
So after much research, it looks like we can hang a hammock in our eldest son’s bedroom – even considering his size!
The process of finding the studs and joists is actually pretty straightforward with a stud finder, but I can also tell where the studs are by knocking on the wall to find the first one and measuring out from there.
I just need to make sure those eye bolts are strong enough to carry the weight of a 6′ 3 teenager!